41 Days of Omer 5780: Essence of Foundation, Yesod of Yesod

Today is forty-one days, which is five weeks and six days of the Omer in the year 5780. יסוד שביסוד, Yesod ShebeYesod. Essence of Foundation.

The bedrock of you

What bonds you to this life and this time?

Always, shall an earthling revere The Cause of Being, privately and publicly.
Acknowledging the truth, and speaking the truth in her ego / personality / core self.

Rabbi Finley introduced me to these lines from Birkat HaShachar. Of course, like most of Jewish prayer, it was written in the masculine. I have transformed it in my mind in Hebrew and English to the feminine, both to allow myself to fully embody it and because the patriarchy of received Judaism must be shattered in order for its essence to grow. 

The Sovereignty of the Divine is a core theme of Rosh Hashanah. Like all holiday themes, it reflects how we should live each day of our lives. 

Beyond myself, there is something deeper, wiser, eternal to which I cling

The aspects of the Divine refracted in the sephirot are ways of understanding God within time and space. There is nothing all-powerful or all-knowing about the Divine in time. God is not in control of me or the universe. God is the Ground of Being upon which we tread. 

We can choose whether to live in alignment with the overflowing goodness and pulsing love calling us towards our best selves.

Choose how we react to the daily stress of life. How to handle the dull, ever present stress of the pandemic. 

This is the way.

More than a catch phrase from The Mandalorian, that statement describes my attachment to Judaism.

The best translation of Halacha is not “Jewish law,” It actually means “the way.” Halacha is not the way I travel through Judaism, but Judaism is the way I travel through life. 

Choosing to become a rabbi

It’s the question people most often ask me. The breadth of my story of becoming a rabbinical student is so long and so personal. 

Here is the essence: I awakened to the depth of meaning within the Jewish civilization. I saw past the veil of pediatric religion spoon-fed to me in my youth. I came to understand that a Jewish worldview is much broader and more expansive than a code of laws. Jewish contributions to philosophy, ethics, and mysticism enliven me. 

I want to know more about what it means to be human. 

Living into the Jewish responses to the human condition. 

Helping others learn more from our vast libraries of thinking. 

Supporting communities become the best versions of themselves. 

And having an excuse to keep buying books. 

These are the reasons I chose to make a mid-career transition to the rabbinate. How are you living into your core self?

41 Days of the Omer from other perspectives

5779 / 2019: Experiencing the Divine within.

5778 / 2018: Rooting myself in community.

5777 / 2017: Importance of understanding one’s personality.

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